13 April 2015 | petra_ste
A proper sequel to Origins
Talk about overcompensating. Fans rightly complained Dragon Age 2 was too short and small, so BioWare dishes out one of its biggest RPGs yet. Strongly inspired by Skyrim, Inquisition is overflowing with locations to visit and things to do... too much so. Quests are everywhere, sprouting from every conversation; however, many belong to the "collect 20 wolf pelts" MMO variety. One could argue those repetitive tasks are not strictly speaking mandatory, except they kind of are: you need at least SOME grinding to gain enough "power" points, which unlock the progression of the vastly more interesting main quest.
Overall, while not as good as Origins, Inquisition is a step forward from the second chapter of the series - it feels like DA2 done right, without cutting corners.
Companions are mostly well-developed, with solid voice acting. There are nine potential party members and also three advisors who can't follow you around but still get plenty of screentime and interactions. Lore is interesting, although the codex collecting it is poorly thought-out.
There are several good news in terms of gameplay. Exploration is back, so players can ride mounts, climb mountains, find secret locations. The world is fairly vast and sometimes large maps are used well, such as a fun treasure hunt in a desert. The main city in the game is a joke though; any comparison with the huge, sprawling, detailed Vizima of The Witcher 3 would be downright embarrassing for Inquisition.
The strategic elements of being a faction leader (planning quests through advisors, managing a stronghold, holding trials) are simplistic but entertaining. Combat is on the easy/chaotic side, but at least friendly fire is not tied to difficulty setting anymore, unlike in DA2. Character building isn't deep, but race selection is a welcome return. Companion approval level is wisely hidden from the player.
A special praise for the Dragon Age Keep, which allows players to import decisions from previous games: this is a simple but neat idea, something which should be done by every series where you can import old saves to see consequences of previous choices.